Seattle Mayor Ed Murray just announced that he would resign after a fifth accuser came forward to allege that the Democratic mayor had molested him as a child. The accuser, Ed Murray’s cousin, is the latest in a string of men who assert that the mayor molested them as adolescents or teens.
Murray, the first openly gay mayor, announced that his resignation would be effective on September 13, 2017.
This victim, Joseph Dyer, is the second cousin of the mayor. Dyer said that the molestation occurred during the 1970s in New York. Dyer, a 54-year-old Air Force veteran, claims that Murray forced him into sex when he was just 13. Murray would have been approximately 21-years-old at the time.
Dyer said that he shared a bedroom with in Long Island, New York. Murray lived with Dyer and his mother for about a year at the time. Dyer stated that Murray sexually abused him in their room while Dyer’s mom and sisters were in other areas of the home.
Murray asserts that he did not abuse Dyer. He claimed that he was only resigning as the sex abuse allegations were overshadowing his time in office. He admitted that he lived with his cousin, who is Dyer’s mother, but denies the accusations. Murray also claims that these allegations have come up because of a rift in the family, and that there have been many fights between Dyer and his family over the years.
This is not the first time that the mayor has been accused of sexual abuse. Since April of this year, four other men have publicly accused Murray of child abuse. Nearly two decades ago, two accusers came to state lawmakers and said that Murray abused them. They were also interviewed by the Seattle Times. Murray vehemently denied these accusations as well. The accusers’ credibility was brought into question since they had criminal and drug histories. Charges were not filed against Murray at that time.
Earlier this year, another man filed a lawsuit against the mayor saying Murray paid him for sex when he was just 15 years old. Murray would have been in his 30s at that time. All four men were troubled teenagers when Murray allegedly abused them.
One of the accusers, Jeff Simpson, says that he was 13 when Murray started abusing him. Murray was his counselor at a children’s center at the time, and later became Simpson’s foster parent. The abuse allegedly continued when Simpson lived with Murray as his foster son. Simpson claims that Murray would even pay him for sex.
The abuse was initially reported in 1984 when Simpson was removed from Murray’s home. The Oregon Child Protective Services investigated the claim and concluded that Murray did abuse Simpson, and recommended that Murray never again be a foster parent. Although the state attempted to bring criminal charges against Murray, they were dropped because of lack of evidence. Criminal charges of child abuse carry a greater burden of proof that what is required by Child Protective Service to conclude that abuse did occur.
It appears that, if the allegations are true, Murray chose victims that were vulnerable based on the fact that they were deeply troubled. So far, only one of Murray’s accusers does not have a criminal or drug history and that is Murray’s cousin, Dyer.
Murray was a former Democratic state legislator that was elected mayor of Seattle in 2013. Before being elected mayor, Murray led a campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington. Later, as mayor, Murray was at the forefront of efforts to raise the city’s minimum hourly wage to $15.
Murray had planned to run for reelection in November, but officially ended his formal bid in June after allegations began to surface once again. He said he ended his campaign because the controversy was too much to handle. He also asserts that the accusations are part of a political plot targeting him because of his stance on gay marriage and progressive politics.
The former Democratic mayor apologized for the controversy and said that he would step down, even though the allegations are false, to prevent the bad press from affecting the ability of the city’s government to conduct business. However, his actions surrounding the issue have certainly raised some red flags.
~ Liberty Planet